All students matriculated in Fordham University are assigned a faculty advisor. Advisors assist students in planning their academic careers, their choices of courses, and the fulfillment of the requirements. In addition, advisors help students to choose majors and to discuss future interests. While students must have some contact with their assigned advisors, they are encouraged to seek guidance from other members of the Fordham community. Most students have had contact with faculty in the social work program before they are admitted.
Students who express interest in social work but are not yet ready to apply can seek consultation with the director of the B.A.S.W. program for information, including suggested plans of study in preparing for admission to the program. University faculty advisors and students interested in social work are strongly encouraged to consult with the program director as frequently as needed. In addition to consultation with program faculty, discussion with students already enrolled in the program is encouraged.
Following admission into the program, the B.A.S.W. program director becomes the student’s “official” advisor and assumes the responsibilities of advisors across the University. In addition, students are encouraged to maintain mentoring relationships with faculty in other departments, especially when they are pursuing another major in addition to social work. If a student leaves the program without finishing the required classroom courses and field education, he/she is assigned another faculty advisor from within the University.
The faculty advisement system of the program is operated independently of the Graduate School of Social Service and includes both individual and group components. The program’s advisement system supports the development of a sense of community and support among undergraduate social work students and program faculty. It complements the collocated classroom sections and provides forums to address the special needs of students launching social work careers and/or new educational pursuits following graduation.
Students have already become familiar with program faculty during their pre-application advisement period and have met many of their fellow students while taking core curriculum and social work prerequisite courses, such as SOWK 2600 Introduction to Social Work and Social Welfare. These bonds are nurtured as students enter the program together and are introduced to program students already taking social work classes.
The program’s advisement activities serve to sustain students as they engage in a rigorous course of study in classroom and field, and include the following:
- Group advisement.
- The integrative seminar for students in field education.
- Frequent individual contacts with faculty advisors.
- Encouragement of networking among program students through formal and informal mechanisms.
The B.A.S.W. program director assumes responsibility for helping students plan their course of study and work towards their post-graduation goals. The B.A.S.W. program director attends to the needs of students in both classroom and field and assists them in the integration of their classes in social work, their field experiences, their other course work in the University, and other significant life activities.
The B.A.S.W. Program Director meets individually with students for regular consultations and special meetings called by either the faculty advisor or student. Students in field placement participate in the integrative seminar, a group facilitated by the faculty advisor that meets 15 times during the academic year. Attendance at advisement meetings and seminar sessions is mandatory.
The functions of the B.A.S.W. program director as they relate to students are to:
- Know the students and their educational program.
- Contact classroom instructors regarding concerns about students’ academic progress.
- Plan an academic program with the student.
- Help identify personal concerns that stand in the way of achieving educational goals.
- Help students deal with frustration and disappointments.
- Help students internalize professional norms and controls when this involves clarification of expectations.
- Enlarge students’ self-awareness and understanding of use of self in the educational professional context.
- Enrich students’ efforts to develop professional values.
It is necessary that the B.A.S.W. program director to assist students with their plans of study and to evaluate their progress. The B.A.S.W. program director has access to teachers and students. Students may share their academic concerns with their faculty advisors, or teachers may alert the faculty advisor to a student’s potential academic difficulty.
The program facilitates the communication of all students in the program via the B.A.S.W. program Blackboard page, and informal networking is encouraged.
The B.A.S.W. program director provides information about the social work curriculum and program requirements and facilitates the integration of the students in the program and the Graduate School of Social Service community.
It should be noted that students in the B.A.S.W. program are subject to the policies of Fordham University that govern all undergraduate students. University policies are distributed to all undergraduate students in the student handbook and are discussed in orientation and advising sessions early in their academic careers. The social work program abides by the University’s policies on nondiscrimination, affirmative action, disability, and sexual harassment. While the B.A.S.W. program retains the right to terminate students from the program if warranted, only students’ college of matriculation can end their enrollment in the University.
Policy on Student Continuation: Program Continuance Review
The policy on student continuation in the B.A.S.W. program provides an established procedure to determine if a student in academic difficulty in course work or field education should continue their enrollment in the B.A.S.W. program. This same procedure is followed to consider termination of students for non-academic reasons such as drug use, violent behavior, or criminal misconduct. The program continuance review process is initiated in the event of specified academic and non-academic conditions.
Students enrolled in the social work program must maintain a grade point average of at least 3.0 and either IP (In Progress—first semester field) or S (Satisfactory—second semester field) in field education to maintain good standing in the program. Students must demonstrate satisfactory progress in order to enter field education and must maintain satisfactory progress in both field and classroom courses in order to maintain program standing. In addition to these policies, students are subject to University policies regarding overall academic achievement.
A program continuance review is instituted by the program in the event of any of these conditions:
- When a student’s GPA (social work courses only) falls below 3.0.
- When a student receives a grade below B in any of their social work classes.
- When a student receives a grade less than IP or satisfactory in field practicum.
- When a student is placed on academic probation by the University.
- When allegations of substance abuse, violent behavior, criminal misconduct, or other serious non-academic behaviors are made against a student in the program.
The review is conducted by the program director, the Assistant Dean of Student Services of the Graduate School of Social Service, and the student. The review results in one of the following actions:
- No action.
- Probationary status in the social work program.
- Dismissal from the social work program.
If the student is placed on probation, the terms of the probationary period and mechanisms for removal of probationary status are identified in writing. If the student is dismissed from the program, the student’s college of matriculation is notified.
In cases when the academic or non-academic conditions prompting the review have implications for the student’s continued enrollment in the University, they are shared with the assistant dean of the student’s college of matriculation.
Students have the right to appeal the decisions of the program continuance review. They can appeal in writing to the Dean of the Graduate School of Social Service, who has the final decision-making authority in the matter.
Grievance Procedures in Academic and Non-Academic Matters
This statement outlines the program’s policy on appeals and grievances, and includes a formal mechanism for grievances in academic and non-academic matters within the program that have not been dealt with through a program continuance review proceeding.
Students who believe they have been treated unfairly in the program as to enrollment in courses, treatment in the classroom or field practicum, final course grades, academic probation, or termination from the program for academic or non-academic reasons have the right to seek an impartial and formal review.
Students are expected to first make a complaint to the program faculty member, field instructor, or faculty adviser about the treatment regarded as unfair. If a satisfactory resolution of the complaint is not obtained, students are expected to appeal promptly to the program director.
If informal appeals do not result in resolution of the matter, students can request a formal investigation. This request must be made in writing to the the Assistant Dean of Student Services of the Graduate School of Social Service, and must provide details of the alleged unfair treatment, identifying the particular informal appeal procedures that were used and telling why these procedures did not resolve the matter. This request must be made to the the Assistant Dean of Student Services of the Graduate School of Social Service within two weeks upon completion of the informal appeals. The Dean of the Graduate School of Social Service has the final decision-making authority in the matter.
Grievances on the part of students that involve alleged discrimination in non-academic matters are handled through the University’s Grievance Committee. Such cases may include, but certainly are not limited to, grievances related to allegations of discrimination on the basis of sex, race, disabilities, religion, national origin, or sexual harassment. Also included are any grievances relating to athletics, food services, housing, extracurricular activities, security, or financial aid. Grievances on the part of students that involve academic matters related to another unit or department within the University should be relayed to that unit and/or to the administrative officers of students’ college of matriculation. For more information regarding these types of grievances, students are directed to consult the University student handbook and their faculty adviser for further guidance.
To gain the most from the Fordham education, students need to be in regular attendance in class and field. However, sometimes emergencies or illnesses can interfere with attendance. Students should contact their faculty advisers if they have any attendance problems in the classroom or field. Excessive absences, even for legitimate reasons, can jeopardize students’ academic standing.
Professors have the option of stipulating their own expectations regarding attendance and class participation. They will be spelled out to students in the course outline and assignments. If students are unclear, they should not hesitate to ask their professors for specific information.
Students are to follow standard undergraduate registration procedures for courses outside the program and the program’s guidelines for social work courses. Students should be aware that the course prefix for the program’s social work courses (SOWK) is different than the graduate course prefix (SWGS).
Transfer of Academic Credit into the Social Work Program
The program will consider accepting up to 12 credits for coursework in the social work major. In order to be considered, the course(s) in question must be from a CSWE-accredited B.S.W. program. Students must have received a grade of B or better and the course(s) must have been completed within the previous five years. In addition, the content must correspond to the content of the course(s) in the Fordham program. Transfer credit is not given for generalist social work practice courses or the field practicum.
Requests to transfer credit for courses in the University core curriculum, social work prerequisites, or other courses outside of those in the social work program are reviewed and determined by the Fordham admissions group and undergraduate colleges, in consultation with the program director.
Application to Advanced Standing and Other Courses of Social Work Study
Within five years of completion, students who have graduated with a B.A. in social work from the program can submit an expedited application to the advanced standing at Fordham’s Graduate School of Social Service. Students can also apply to other graduate programs in social work that consider advanced standing applications.
Code of Ethics of the National Association of Social Workers
Approved by the 1996 NASW Delegate Assembly and revised by the 2017 NASW Delegate Assembly.
The NASW Code of Ethics is intended to serve as a guide to the everyday professional conduct of social workers. This code includes four sections:
- The first section, "Preamble," summarizes the social work profession's mission and core values.
- The second section, "Purpose of the NASW Code of Ethics," provides an overview of the code's main functions and a brief guide for dealing with ethical issues or dilemmas in social work practice.
- The third section, "Ethical Principles," presents broad ethical principles, based on social work's core values, that inform social work practice.
- The final section, "Ethical Standards," includes specific ethical standards to guide social workers' conduct and to provide a basis for adjudication.